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Online Colleges That Pay You To Attend

Attending college can be an expensive undertaking. With tuition fees, accommodation, and other costs to consider, it can be difficult for students to find the money required for a college education. But what if you could get paid to attend college?

Online colleges that pay you to attend offer precisely this – a chance to receive financial aid in exchange for enrolling in their courses. These colleges provide students with various financial options, such as grants, scholarships, and student loans, that can help cover tuition and living expenses while they study.

Online colleges that pay you to attend may seem too good to be true, especially with the soaring costs of post-secondary schooling in the U.S.

However, plenty of phenomenal programs can help you get your chosen degree with zero fees.

With a little research, you can get some of the best education possible without spending a cent.

Popular Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

How Do Colleges Pay You to Attend?

Technically, these programs don’t deposit a check into your account every two weeks like a regular job.

Instead, they allow you to put your money elsewhere, such as in your future savings.

With the ability to enroll in $0 programs, students are essentially being paid for their studies.

It’s a phenomenal way to avoid the hefty burden of dealing with student debt at graduation.

With that said, there is a common misconception that colleges that pay you to attend offer lower-quality schooling than others.

Fortunately, these programs give you top-quality education minus the tens of thousands of dollars you spend on tuition.

Online Colleges That Pay You to Attend

Let’s get into the list of the best online colleges you can attend for no cost.

It’s important to note that because this is such a massive benefit, they are highly competitive programs.

If you find you are interested, it is best to apply as soon as possible.

Columbia University

If your family’s annual income is less than $150,000 (with typical assets), you may be eligible to attend Columbia University tuition-free.

This is because Columbia offers a financial aid program that allows students from families with lower incomes to attend the university without paying tuition. The program is designed to make the university more accessible to students from diverse backgrounds.

It’s important to note that the $150,000 income threshold is not a hard cut-off. It’s based on a formula that takes into account the family’s financial situation, such as savings, assets, and other financial obligations; this means that it is not guaranteed that a family making less than $150,000 will not have to pay anything. It depends on other factors. Therefore, even if your family’s income is less than $150,000, you should still complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile form. These forms will give the university more information about your family’s financial situation and help determine your eligibility for financial aid.

It’s also worth noting that the financial aid package offered by the university may not cover all of your expenses. You may have to pay room and board or other fees. However, the university offers additional grants and scholarships to cover these expenses.

It’s important to remember that financial aid packages are based on your family’s specific circumstances and that applying for financial aid can be complex. Columbia University’s financial aid office will be able to help you understand what you may be eligible for and how to apply for it.

In summary, Columbia University offers a financial aid program that allows students from families with lower incomes to attend the university without paying tuition. Still, it’s important to note that the program also considers the family’s other financial situation, so it’s not a guarantee of free tuition. If your family’s annual income is less than $150,000, it is worth reaching out to the university’s financial aid office to understand what kind of aid you may be eligible for.

Columbia Online is free for qualified people and has a curriculum similar to what they offer on campus.

Since it’s online, this program provides educational opportunities to students regardless of location.

It is also one of the top-accredited American colleges you can attend online.

The online school allows you to explore diverse areas of study, such as arts, sciences, social work, engineering, and more.

Many of the courses on Columbia Online can be used for the Tuition Exemption Program, which is for Columbia employees and their families.

You’ll never have to worry about tuition costs as long as you meet their eligibility requirements.

Berea College

Berea College is a private liberal arts college located in Berea, Kentucky. One of the unique features of the college is its “Work College” program, which provides all students with a full-tuition scholarship worth over $100,000 over four years.

Students must come from low-income families and do well in school to qualify for this scholarship. In exchange for the scholarship, students must work 10–15 hours per week in various on-campus jobs, such as in the dining hall, library, or maintenance department. The Work College program aims to give students a good education and valuable work experience while reducing their debt when they graduate.

Berea College’s goal is to educate students from low-income families who don’t have a lot of opportunities to go to college. The people who started Berea thought everyone should be able to get an education, no matter how much money they had. Through its full-tuition scholarship and work program, Berea College has provided a high-quality education to thousands of students who otherwise might not have been able to afford it.

Berea College is among the most selective colleges in the United States, with an acceptance rate of around 17%. The college is dedicated to giving students a rigorous and challenging education with a strong focus on the liberal arts. Berea College also gives students a lot of ways to learn by doing, like internships and service-learning projects, that let them use their knowledge and skills in the real world.

In addition to the full-tuition scholarship and work program, Berea College also offers several other financial aid options, such as grants and work-study programs, to help students cover their other expenses.

That said, it’s important to note that although your tuition is covered, students are responsible for additional costs.

For example, you will be required to pay additional taxes. Outside of these costs, the school pays you to attend their courses.

Berea College’s full-tuition scholarship and work program is a unique and innovative way to make higher education accessible to students from low-income families. The college’s commitment to providing high-quality education and valuable work experience while keeping student debt minimum exemplifies how higher education should be provided with equal opportunity for all.

Barclay College (Must Live On Campus to Qualify)

Barclay College is a Christian institution, and one of its main goals is to prepare students for successful Christian life, service, and leadership. The curriculum at the college is meant to give students a strong background in biblical studies, theology, and other important topics for Christian ministry and leadership. In addition to this focus on academics, the college also offers extracurricular activities like ministry teams and mission trips to help students put their faith into action.

One way the college supports its mission of preparing students for practical Christian life, service, and leadership is through its Full Tuition Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to all students who live on campus, and it helps cover the tuition cost. This scholarship program is meant to help ensure students don’t have a lot of debt when they graduate and start working, so they can focus on following God’s call.

The college’s leaders are very serious about preparing students for successful Christian lives, leadership, and service. They understand the significance of this mission and work towards fulfilling it with the help of their staff and faculty. Furthermore, the college also receives support from its donors and other supporters, who are committed to this mission and believe in the value of affordable education for students seeking to follow God’s call.

Overall, Barclay College is a school that puts a lot of importance on its mission to teach students how to live, serve, and lead well as Christians. With its work-study program, scholarships, and other initiatives, the college wants to ensure that students can get a good education without having to take on a lot of debt. This means that graduates can focus on their calling and serving their communities without worrying about a lot of debt.

Barclay College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The campus is located in Kansas, and its curriculum can be traced back to 1917, with its initial purpose of being a bible school.

This institution is unique because it is a free Christian college founded by Quakers.

The central premise of the programs at Barclay is to help students prepare for Christian leadership and service.

You will find bachelor’s degree programs in youth ministry, worship arts, and pastoral ministry. Also, there are a few other undergraduate degrees you can get for free.

That said, students interested in a $0 tuition will need to apply for a full scholarship for the school.

Currently, Barclay offers free schooling to domestic students granted the $15,000 scholarship, funded by the school’s sponsors.

University of Missouri – Columbia

Imagine being able to trade work for school, which is what the University of Missouri – Columbia offers to their students.

With its full tuition waiver, it is one of the better online schools you can choose in the United States.

During your research, you will find that the school has some of the highest funds available for scholarships and grants.

Also known as their work-study program, students must qualify before being granted a degree at zero cost.

It is also essential to note that applicants must either be permanent residents or U.S. citizens.

Remember to enroll in a graduate or undergraduate degree program before applying.

You will be expected to work and attend school simultaneously through this program.

This program can be incredibly beneficial for students, as you’ll get hands-on and academic knowledge simultaneously.

You will earn your degree through hard work, helping make you a more employable graduate.

It isn’t an entirely online program, as you will be expected to attend work in person. However, all your studies will be conducted online, making them easier to fit into your schedule.


Instead of signing up for traditional learning opportunities, why not take advantage of modern education through edX?

edX is a phenomenal compilation of the best free programs from some of the most prestigious schools in the country.

For example, you’ll find courses from over 160 universities and colleges, including Berkeley, MIT, and Harvard.

With edX, students can sign up for an account for free and browse through an assortment of online programs.

Students can choose from three learning pathways: executive education, master’s, and bachelor’s degrees.

Compiling these options makes it remarkably simple to find the program you need.

Executive education courses can diversify your existing skills to make you more career-ready.

These courses are designed as continuing education opportunities, helping professionals diversify their acumen. You’ll find several course options, such as:

  • Accelerated Management (Yale)
  • FinTech (HarvardX)
  • Cybersecurity (HarvardX)
  • Artificial Intelligence (MIT Sloan)

There are also numerous master’s and bachelor’s degree programs in various specialties, such as:

  • Analytics
  • Engineering
  • Data Science
  • Psychology
  • Law
  • Nursing
  • Speech
  • Education

University of the People

If you’ve researched free schooling, you’ll find that the University of the People is one of the top institutions to consider.

It is one of the most popular options for students looking for schools that will essentially pay them to attend.

It’s often seen as the first non-profit, tuition-free school accredited in the United States.

Through the University of the People, students can explore several phenomenal learning opportunities.

You’ll find degrees in Health Science, Computer Science, Education, Business Administration, and more.

It’s important to remember that tuition through this school is entirely free, but there are additional fees to consider, including:

  • $17/accepted transfer credit
  • $120 to $240 undergraduate course assessment fee
  • $60 application fee

Aside from free tuition, another remarkable tenet of the University of the People is course accessibility.

You will never have to worry about attending the campus in person, making it phenomenal for working professionals.

In other words, your schooling can easily fit into your schedule because it’s all online.

University of Cambridge

When it comes to affluent universities discussed in the most illustrious circles, the University of Cambridge is well known.

It is located in the U.K. and is home to nearly 110 Nobel Prize Laureates, 190 Olympic Medalists, and over 47 Heads of State.

Undoubtedly, it is a school that has raised some of the most prestigious names worldwide.

That said, it is also known to have some of the most expensive tuition costs in the country. However, there are multiple learning opportunities students can unlock for free.

With the emergence of free learning, the University of Cambridge has no-cost programs on iTunesU.

You will find hundreds of audio-only and video content you can download through iTunes and review at your leisure.

Although it is not a full degree program, these courses can considerably help your prospects. You can attend virtual lectures, review interviews, and even enjoy short films.


We know; Google isn’t a university or college, but it has some of the most remarkable free learning opportunities you must consider.

With the flexibility of its online training programs, not taking advantage of its free courses is a massive mistake.

Grow with Google is the company’s program that helps learners fast-track themselves into high-demand job fields.

With Google Career Certificates, professionals can diversify their learning, making them some of the most competitive people in their industry.

The best part is that you don’t need any experience before signing up for courses, not even relevant experience.

If you are ready to learn at your own pace for zero costs, Google Career Certificates are something you must consider.

In most instances, you can finish the online program within six months by working 10 hours per week on your studies.

The courses are also incredibly flexible, easily fitting into your schedule.

Further Your Studies for Free

Finding online colleges that pay you to attend is relatively simple, as more schools are making education more accessible.

From free courses to entirely free degree programs, there are many options. There are even online colleges that offer free laptops!

It’s time to start post-secondary schooling today so that you can become the most competitive prospective employee possible.

Online Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Compare your school options.

View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.